Longlevens player/assistant manager Craig Martin has called for his teammates to produce some consistency after two early goals set them on their way to their sixth league defeat in eleven games, this time losing 3-0 away to Binfield.
Sean Moore and Liam Gavin’s strikes gave the hosts a 2-0 lead inside the opening quarter of an hour before centre back Kieran Squires was sent off for a lunging challenge on the touchline.
Longlevens defended more resolutely for the remaining 65+ minutes with striker James Campbell having to play at centre back due to a lack of defensive options in the squad. A second for Moore sealed the win for the hosts.
Martin, who is currently acting manager for Levens as Mark Moore is away due to a scheduled operation this week, said that his side played better than the scoreline suggests.
“To be honest, the overall performance over the 90 minutes wasn’t all that bad but we once again keep giving away soft goals. When we went down to 10 men we actually played some nice football but we cannot start a game like that. We can’t be two goals down and a man down inside the opening 22 minutes in any game and expect to get something out of it. Binfield were clinical but the manner of the goals helped them.”
Martin looked ahead to the next game in charge, which will be another tough test as local rivals Fairford Town visit Saw Mills. Ahead of the game Martin has confirmed there will be changes and has called for the players selected to re-capture some consistency.
“The lack of consistency is very frustrating and it doesn’t help with unavailability and injuries either as you want to get a settled side, but sometimes that is part of the game at this level and it cannot be helped. Avoidable suspensions make it harder too and that has happened a few times.
Expect changes [on Wednesday]. There will be changes all over the pitch. Wednesday will be a normal derby game and it will be difficult for both us and Fairford. I am not expecting many goals either, I am expecting a close game where either side nicks it by the odd goal. We have to work harder than we have done at points this season to make sure it is us who takes the points.”
Longlevens’ record in local derbies this season has been typically inconsistent. Despite 1-0 wins away at Tuffley Rovers and at home to Bishops Cleeve, they have been defeated twice by Lydney Town, at home to Tuffley and most recently, going down 2-0 at home to Brimscombe & Thrupp earlier this month. Longlevens also picked up a draw and a win against Tuffley in the FA Vase.
Martin has also confirmed that he will be playing on Wednesday night, after being an unused substitute at Binfield.
“Yesterday I was there to manage and had the help of Darrell (Levens coach Darrell Long) and Tim Hall who stepped in for the game thankfully. But on Wednesday I will be able to line up as a player as well as manager as we will have Tommy Callinan back with us after being on holiday for the weekend. He will be able to marshall things from the sidelines, so it is a chance for us to all pull together whilst Mark [Moore] is away.”
Longlevens host Fairford Town at Saw Mills on Wednesday night in the Hellenic Premier. If you can’t get to the game you will be able to follow the game live on our social media platforms. Kick off is at 19:45